“There’s no place like home!” -Dorothy, Wizard of Oz
The thrill of travel includes many components but the two that I love most are JUST GOING and coming home! As much as we love to pack and go, our travels have always made me appreciate the comforts and blessings of home. I think everyone that travels can relate to that, just a little.
We live where the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay converge and there are a lot of names for where we live; Hampton Roads, Tidewater, “The 757”, and sometimes, “The Seven Cities.” “The Seven Cities” of our area include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. When we travel and we’re asked where we’re from, sometimes it’s easiest to say, “Virginia Beach,” because that is usually the local city that most people can identify in our area.
We are a military town, surrounded by every branch of the military and home to Naval Station Norfolk, the headquarters and home port of the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Forces Command. I might’ve been a Marine brat as a kid, but I am born and raised in Norfolk which makes me a Unicorn of sorts! If you’re ever in the area and you have the opportunity to check off, “find a Norfolk Native,” on a scavenger hunt, come find me! Being a native of the area is a badge of honor for me.
We might also have the designation of “Seven Cities,” but there is even more to our area. While I grew up in Norfolk, for the early years of our marriage, my Husband and I have lived in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, finally moving out to the country to enjoy small town living and some wide open spaces in Isle of Wight County, a rural community just outside the “Seven Cities” boundary and just minutes from “town.” When we want to “go for a ride,” we like to jump into the truck and go across the James River by bridge, tunnel, or ferry and explore Williamsburg. We go often. My Husband’s favorite restaurant, Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que, a longtime institution in the area, is nearly always the primary destination.
Our area is a tourist mecca in it’s own right, even if we don’t think of it that way. While we marvel at sunsets and beautiful churches in the spectacular European cities that we visit, we wonder if the people who live there truly appreciate where they live. I’m guessing that they are a lot like us and take their home towns for granted. Tourists come here from all over to spend a week at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront or to explore the nearby “historic triangle” of Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg. We have the joys of the beach and many opportunities to enjoy time on the water along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Chesapeake Bay, and the James and Elizabeth Rivers. Then there is the seafood! I’ve always loved the easy access to fresh seafood including my favorite crab boil for my birthday.
Some of the other well known visitor areas of our region include:
-The Cape Henry Lighthouse
-The Virginia Zoo
-Norfolk Botanical Gardens
-False Cape State Park and First Landing State Park
-The Jamestown Settlement
-The American Revolution Museum
-The Virginia Beach Board Walk
-Museums such as Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, Virginia Air and Space Museum in Hampton, Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, The Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach
We live in a beautiful part of Virginia that bursts into color in the spring, celebrates Harbor Fest and July 4th like a small town, revels in festivals and wine tastings in the fall, and becomes a local’s town again for a little while during the winter.
It’s a place where we spend time with friends and family; where we make our home and go to work so we can travel again, and where my Tempur-Pedic is always waiting for me! (I always miss my bed!) Some people think of where we live as a vacation spot. We just call it home.
Come see us when you can!